About 20 Sub-Saharan migrants, according to a preliminary count by the Civil Guard, arrived illegally Sunday in a “small boat” on a beach in the Spanish city of Melilla, on the North African coast.
Spanish authorities said that the boat was outfitted with a powerful motor and arrived on the beach after being spotted by Civil Guard border control personnel as it was approaching the Melilla coast.
The Civil Guard estimated that about 20 people could fit on board the boat but so far they have only been able to intercept 11 - six men, two boys under age 15 and three women, one of whom was pregnant.
The 11 migrants who were captured were provided by the Civil Guard with blankets and their health status was determined to be good so none of them had to be taken to a hospital.
Local authorities emphasized the risk to Civil Guard personnel during the rescue operation given the ocean conditions at the time.
The migrants’ boat was also carrying two containers of extra fuel and a very large flotation device, presumably to be used by the passengers in case the boat was swamped by high seas.